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Owner building

If you wish to carry out residential building work valued at more than $11,000 on your land, you need to obtain an owner builder permit. Except under exceptional circumstances, you can only have one owner builder permit every six years.


The value includes the cost of:

  • materials (value can’t be reduced if discounted or recycled) and
  • labour (the cost a licensed contractor would charge you for the work)

Note : Owner builder work is not insurable work under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

What is an owner?

An owner is any individual or company registered as the owner of the land.

The owner can also be a person or company with a lease, licence or authority that allows them to occupy the land. The occupier must also have a letter from the owner giving permission to carry out work at the property under an owner builder permit.  The letter must include a full description of the intended work.

What is owner builder work?

Owner builder work involves:

  • doing the work yourself AND/OR
  • engaging one or more QBCC licensed contractors and:
  • directing the contractors how to perform the work,
  • co-ordinating the scheduling of the work ,
  • arranging for payment of the contractors

Residential building work includes:

  • building a new home
  • renovating, altering or extending an existing home
  • renovating or altering an existing single duplex or unit, only where it does not affect the fire protection system or structure of the building
  • building a garage, carport or residential shed
  • building a swimming pool for residential use
  • building a pergola or entertainment area for residential use.

Work not allowed under an owner builder permit

You cannot get an owner builder permit for:

  • building commercial or industrial buildings (eg shops, industrial sheds, farm buildings)
  • building or renovating multiple dwellings (eg duplexes, boarding houses, block of units)

Note : There are special provisions for farm buildings. If the value of building a farm building is no more than $27,500, an owner can personally do that work.

Owner builder permit expiry date

An owner builder permit ends 6 years after being issued.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
4/03/2014 9:25 AM

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